So far in my kitchen experiments, I have yet to try cooking any other poultry other than chicken. I love to eat duck, but cooking one seems .... tedious, or so I thought.
After a few rounds of pleading from hubby, I agreed to try out a braised duck recipe he saw in one of my cookbooks. Ordered a fresh duck from market (I suspect that I have been conned, cos for a 3.3kg duck I paid S$16 and the duck probably died from obsesity!) and started the pots going. Marinated the duck with five spice powder and dark soy sauce and dunk the fellow into a bubbling spice pot for 2+ hours. And it's done. The meat flakes off the bone easily and is mouth tender. Although the fatty duck yielded one and a half cups of oil while braising, the fat-reduced skin remained intact while protecting the meat from over-cooking.
Conclusion: I won't be buying ready-made braised duck anymore! And also, I won't be patronising that market poultry stall anymore! Hmmph...
1 fresh duck
(i) 1 tsp five spice powder
(ii) 10 cloves garlic, crushed
(iii) 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp oil
2 tbs sugar
(i) 10 shallots, peeled and lightly bruised
(ii) 5 cm galangal
(i) 5 cinnamon sticks
(ii) 15 star anise pods
(iii) 20 cloves
(i) 1/2 cup light soy sauce
(ii) 16 cups water
Garlic and Vinegar Sauce (for dipping):
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 finger red chili, deseeded and minced
4 tbsp white rice vinegar
1. Prepare Garlic and Vinegar sauce by mixing all the ingredients together and set aside.
2. Clean duck and remove as much fat as possible. Scald the outside of the duck with boiling water to remove wax and fat, then set aside to drain. Rub the inside and outside of duck with (A).
3. Place oil in a big pot, add the sugar and heat over low until sugar caramelises, about 10min. Add (B) and stir well. Then add (C) and stir again.
4. Add the duck with its seasoning, and simmer, covered, over low heat for 1 1/2hrs. Remove cover and simmer for another 30min. Add more water if needed. Remove duck from the pot and set aside to cool. Strain the sauce into a saucepan and discard the solids. Skim the fat from the sauce, then simmer until it reduces to a gravy.
5. Debone the duck and cut into serving slices. Serve with gravy and Garlic and Vinegar sauce for dipping.